Willie and Elaine Oliver, Directors of Family Ministries, Seventh-day Adventist Church
June 2, 2020 | Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | By Willie and Elaine Oliver
On June 6, 2020, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is sponsoring a World COVID-19 Marriage and Family Day of Prayer. As many of you already know, COVID-19 is a public health crisis that has brought on emotional and spiritual challenges for countless individuals around the world as well as for many marriage and family relationships. This situation has provoked anxiety, stress, tension, collective sadness, grief, and even spiritual uncertainty.
In addition to the loss of loved ones during this pandemic, there have been many other losses such as employment, a sense of security, and celebrations like graduations, birthdays, weddings, baby dedications, and many other festivities that have long been a part of our daily lives. The truth is, we’ve lost normalcy, what our lives used to look like before COVID-19, as marriage and family relationships have been hijacked by the evil one. So, it’s time to take these concerns to the Lord in prayer and remember the counsel given in the Bible that says: “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).*
It’s our desire and hope that this day—June 6, 2020—will be a marker, a line in the sand if you will, when we believe and claim God’s promises for our marriage and family relationships. It’s time to trust God to do the impossible by enabling us to have His mind, as Paul declares in Philippians 2:5: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” It’s having the mind of Jesus that will enable us to be patient and kind with each other in our families and other relationships, as Paul references in 1 Corinthians 13:4. This frame of mind is what will allow us to live out the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control—each day in our relationships (see Gal. 5:22, 23).
Every congregation and family around the world may join the online prayer session on June 6, 2020, on @theadventistchurch Facebook page at 8:00 a.m. (ET) or on @theadventistchurch YouTube Channel at 10:00 a.m. (ET). You may also log on to family.adventist.org for resources for your local church or family to have a meaningful World COVID-19 Marriage and Family Day of Prayer,joining brothers and sisters around the world to pray for families in and out of the church. Invite your neighbors to join you for this spiritually uplifting event.
Willie Oliver, a family sociologist, pastoral counselor, and certified family life educator, is director of Adventist Family Ministries at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Elaine Oliver, a licensed clinical professional counselor and certified family life educator, is associate director.
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